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Trade Union Bill Will Seriously Damage Industrial Relations And Bankrupt The Labour Party Says GMB


3 min read Partner content

Blatant one sided approach is guaranteed to poison the relationship between workers and their managers and will lead to even more trouble says GMB

GMB commented on the Trades Union Bill published today (15th July) for consultation.

The Bill introduces 50% turnout ballot threshold in a strike ballot. It requires 40% support to take industrial action from all members eligible to vote in health, education, fire, transport, water, security and energy sectors including border force and nuclear commissioning. It requires unions to give 14 days notice for strike action. It lifts to current ban on using agency workers to do the jobs of those on strike. It requires an opt-in for trade union political funds.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said “The unintended consequence of the parts of the Bill dealing with strike action will be to seriously damage industrial relations.

The Bill removes all incentives for employers to heed their own workers and settle disputes.

When workers jump through the draconian hurdles required for their vote for strike action to be lawful employers can ignore the will of their own workers. Workers will have to give an employer 14 days notice of strike action. This is more than enough time for employers to legally hire another workforce to break the strike.

This blatant one sided approach is guaranteed to poison the relationship between workers and their managers. It will lead to even more trouble.

The proposal on opting into the political fund is also one sided. It is clearly designed to seriously damage the Labour Party. It is clear that the Tory Party High Command intend to make the Labour Party bankrupt by cutting off the main source of funding that they have relied on since the 1930s.

This is aimed at undermining political campaigning by unions on behalf of their members and communities. It is intended to reduce the ability of trade unions to provide funding including donations to political parties and campaigns.

This is a completely one sided approach to party funding. There are no proposals to force companies to ballot shareholders or to place a cap on donations from wealthy people when funding the Tory Party.

Conservatives will be able to stuff their coffers with swag money from hedge fund tax bandits and then have the cheek to lecture trade union members about accountability.

Since the early part of the last century trades unions have been the only organizations in the UK not allowed to spend their general funds to support political parties. Instead they have been required to set up political funds for that purpose. In the 1980s the Tories introduced further law requiring trades unions to hold a postal ballot of individual members every ten years on the issue. GMB members have on four occasions voted overwhelmingly to retain a political fund since then - the latest vote being in 2014.

This is the second time that the Tories have aimed to bankrupt the Labour Party. They did it before in 1928. The same old Tory class warriors want to do it again nearly 90 years later.”


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